29 November 2006


Sorry, one more football one, then I promise to go back to real life at least for a while. We've watched *a lot* of football in the last couple days.

My new pet peeve is the roughing the passer penalty in the NFL. They've decided they're going to protect the quarterbacks above all else (nature of the game, fair play, fan enjoyment, etc.) and so now if you so much as touch a quarterback's head or hit him in a manner that the refs deem to be 'too rough.' Last weekend, no fewer than two games were handed to teams because of a rather dubious roughing the passer call.

Down 6 points in Seattle, the Packers had come up with a seeming third down stop, only to have the Seahawks given a first down on a hit which, for all intents and purposes, looked like a run of the mill tackle. The quarterback's head was not touched, nor did he hit the ground hard. Mr. Hasselbeck, I know you thought your knee injury last month was intentional so congratulations--all of your whining got you a win.

In New York, the Giants lead the Titans by three touchdowns with just over ten minutes to play. The Titans go for it on fourth and nine and Vince Young decides to run for it (I know, shocking). After seven yards, someone grabs his ankles and it looks like he won't be able to get to the line. The man is, remember, about two yards tall, so it pays to make sure he doesn't fall forward, yes? Someone comes across and does just that and gets called for roughing the passer. It was a hard hit, but he was in bounds, and still on his feet. If it was another player (say, a running back or receiver, both of whom take those kind of hits all day), that never gets called.

Perhaps I like my football rough, but if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. If you're a quarterback and you take a deep drop or (worse yet) decide to run, you better be prepared to take a hit. It's now possible to use the quarterback slide (which makes it a penalty to hit you) as a weapon--if you so much as look at the ground, everyone is terrified to hit you for fear of a penalty. Hard hits are the way you play football, they're what the players like to give out, and they're what the fans like to see. Are we protecting players or investments?

In other news, I hear there's a show about a girl who talks about sports a lot on TBS. Seems like maybe they haven't thought the premise all the way through yet (much like Prison Break), but I'll check it out.

27 November 2006

Bear Down...Far Down

People like to whine about how hard it is to be a Cubs fan, but you know what? It's pretty freakin' hard to be a Bears fan too. Seems like a silly complaint seeing as they're 9-2 and a sure bet for a playoff berth, but I think it honestly might be better if they were just bad. Instead, they're close to good, but unwilling to tie up the final loose ends (Boston Red Sox fans, I never though I'd say this, but I guess I feel you on this one). Or loose *end* to be specific. I think it would be fair to say that the Monsters of the Midway haven't had a seriously talented quarterback since Sid Luckman (1939-1950). They've had 'guys who didn't hurt them too much' (McMahon, Kramer that one golden year), 'guys who had no business playing in the NFL' (Quinn, Krenzel, Orton...the list goes on), and the dreaded 'Rex Grossman' category, which proves to me that their player personnel department absolutely can't tell the difference between 'guys who have good arms' and 'quarterbacks.' Jim Harbaugh fits in this one too. Mostly, I'm just angry because I see the inexorable decline towards the second annual first game home playoff loss. The only consolation for me is that next summer, the Cubs will have paid *even more* for a bad team.

In other news, I'm currently in Las Vegas. Everytime I'm here, I wonder why I don't live here. Then I remember that there are no jobs. Or rather, there are lots of jobs, but in casinos. Right.

19 November 2006

Possibly Offensive, Sorry

Last week, we went to a board meeting of a Down syndrome non-profit. It's a group of energetic, dedicated people who really do, as they say, focus on ability intead of disability. At one point, a board member mentioned that he was planning to step down in the spring following the birth of his fourth child, and his second one with Down syndrome.

I had to struggle to keep my poker face. Here's a family who already has a kid with Down syndrome, not to mention two other children, knew in advance both that Down syndrome was a possiblity and then later that it was a reality, and they're going to go ahead with it. In a way, I was impressed. That's really putting your money where your mouth is. They always say that having a child with Down syndrome is a blessing and they didn't back off when it counted.

Well, they're pretty religious too...

16 November 2006

Ding Dong

I go by a nickname. Pretty much always have, though I was originally named so that I wouldn't (my nickname is longer than my name). Things change.

I had this brief fantasy that once I grew up, I'd go back the given name. I use it on my resume, so for a while, I had the new boss using it too. But after he called my references and heard the nickname on my voicemail, he asked me what I wanted to be called.

Seems a bit trivial, but it became a bigger deal when I realized that this job was for real. Honestly, it's going to be the base of my career. Which points to using the more professional given name, right?

I couldn't do it though. I suppose the nickname suits me better. It's less formal, more unique, more substantial, and just...me, I guess.

Or maybe it's a Peter Pan thing, you make the call.

*sorry, I know this would be easier to read if I just used my name, but hey, relatively anonymous is relatively anonymous. I'm trying not to name anything private, including myself.

14 November 2006

A Little Humility Never Hurt Anyone

I like the new job so far. I really do. Even though I can't really work independently and spend a large proportion of my time looking for things like stamps, the stapler, and the bathroom key, I'm sure I've made the right decision.

I'm generally a decently quick study, and this is no different, but I'd forgotten the big downfall of new things (particularly new jobs, apparently): I'm basically wrong all the time. I guess that's why you don't get to make big decisions immediately. Seriously though, in the last week, I've

-used stamps from the wrong drawer
-put three different letters in one envelope...twice
-typed a bank balance wrong (ten minutes to figure out the ten dollar difference)
-plugged the cord into the incorrect slot in the fax machine (it took us an hour to figure that one out)
-ripped out both receipts when one was supposed to be for us (yes, *that* I should have known)
-forgotten to close the bathroom door (very important heat purposes)
-been unable to figure out how to unlock the front door.

And sorry to sound arrogant, but just like I told you before that I wasn't particularly clumsy, I'm generally not particularly wrong either. I have an excellent memory, good research skills (thank you, pointless liberal arts major!), a type-A personality, and a more than healthy sense of pride. The combination allows me to rarely be wrong about things like "how many boxes we brought to the conference' or 'how old Bill's brother is' or 'how to use the copy machine'.

On the plus side, I have been put in charge of the two bonsai trees (potential names: Bill and Ted) and they seem to be very much still alive.

On a side note, I'm back to posting now, I promise. My mom was in town promoting her book (more on that later!) and there was less time (well, and considerably less need for a place to vent)

05 November 2006

Frog Princess?

I had a conversation with a friend some months ago in which we both agreed that though we consider ourselves to be self-confident women with a lot going for us, we're still able to be rattled by a decidedly put-together woman who seems a whole hell of a lot cooler than our high school selves remember being. (Sorry about starting a post with a sentence that long, won't happen again) In other words, despite feeling smart, funny, and attractive enough most of the time, the 'pretty girl' still holds her place on occasion.

Funny because on day two of the new job last week, the boss and I went out for lunch with this painter who rents a studio upstairs from our office. She came while the boss was on the phone, so I went out to keep her company for a bit. She seems to be a pretty good painter (I don't know anything about art, but I liked it, and she paints Chicago for the most part), but she's one of those kind of typical 'I don't want to fit in' types. You know, she's wearing corduroys and some funky t-shirt, birkenstock clogs, not perfectly groomed eyebrows, oversize sweatshirt instead of a coat etc.

She seemed a little stand-offish and I thought maybe she was just shy, but when we headed out to lunch, it became apparent that, though quiet, she was much more comfortable with the boss. Then I realized, I was wearing boots, eye shadow, and a long wool coat...I was the pretty girl!

What goes around, comes around I guess, so remember, you're probably someone's pretty girl (or jock boy), so be nice!